Revision in the Digital Age: Why You Shouldn’t Disregard the Power of Paper

Revision in the Digital Age: Why You Shouldn’t Disregard the Power of Paper

Many of today's students are what education consultant Marc Prensky calls Digital Natives. Having grown up in a world with the internet, social media and smartphones, it's easy to believe that the use of a screen to revise is the best way to reinforce lectures and seminars.

Despite this, paper books have endured the rise of the digital age, both in everyday life and in academia. Various studies throughout the past twenty or so years point to various reasons why the use of paper for reading and revision has prevailed. Whilst Kindles and e-readers are a great option compared to carrying round a small library, you can't get truly lost and immersed in your revision in the same way you can with revising from a book.

Immerse yourself in paper

One of the most important reasons why revising on paper is important is because the vast majority of people tend to read slower and with less accuracy when using a screen or e-reader. Even with the advancements in e-reading technology, students will find it easier remembering information if they've read it in a print book. Additionally, it's extremely difficult to become fully immersed with an e-reader or text on a screen in the same way it's possible to with a book.

When students are studying to gain the in-depth knowledge to excel in an academic setting, a book appears to be the better option. Furthermore, later studies have found that by scrolling or swiping the finger left or right provides a bigger distraction than turning the page of a book. This, along with the eye having to find points of reference more frequently on a screen, caused students' performance to suffer.